A Study in Appetites
I realize that up ‘til now I have vilified appetite. Appetite can be good, evil or amoral. When Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” he was coaching you to acquire a certain appetite. If Psalm 34 instructs the obedient to “taste and see that God is good,” this again speaks of what you ought to find appetizing. “Hunger and thirst,” therefore, for righteousness. I herein concede that two distinct overarching appetite streams exist. Holy, and unholy. In purely subjective terms, as pertains to amoral issues, personal preference, which is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, is a third—but to our study inconsequential—stream.
For interest’s sake, let’s explore the two consequential streams a little closer. Are the two streams identical twins, or can you spot some prominent differences? I think I see something.
Holy appetite is one; it is such that those who have it are in harmony with each other. (Come and partake of fellowship with us, John was able to joyously exhort, as “our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.”) If this was a tug-o-war, they would all be pulling in the same direction. The effort would be them against an object they wanted moved.
Whereas, the unholy appetites of the unholy will (must) ultimately be or become competitive. From material in our last post, we can easily make the “leap” that Madalyn Murray O’Hair had very strong unholy appetites, as did David Roland Waters, the fellow who first helped her liquidate assets—and shortly thereafter helped her off with her troublesome head. Both loved unrighteousness, yet, instead of harmonizing, their appetites clashed. They were diametrically opposed; antithetical to one another. At most, one’s appetite could prevail. All hunting works in much the same way.
We can further break Waters and his teammates’ appetites down into eventual competitions. To begin with, Waters and Gary Paul Karr dispatched teammate Danny Raymond Fry, something like voting him off of the island of life. Whether the motive was that he was the weakest link to the likelihood of their discovery, or whether Waters and Karr supposed it simply made their shares richer, is unknown. (At one point Waters testified that he and Karr had invited Fry in, fully knowing from the onset that they considered three to be a crowd, but psychopaths will say anything that amuses them, so who knows? He had also told prosecutors Fry had been a dismal “security risk,” falling asleep with his pistol on the table when he was supposed to be guarding the prey, meaning the three atheists.)
After Texas and Uncle Sam distributed life sentences, Waters sought certain legal favor, and Karr-nal knowledge could prove . . . marketable. (Guess whether his thieving ethics applauded or disdained this get-into-a-better-jail free card?) Conversely, when prosecutors wanted a fuller picture of what had happened—and who played which roles—Karr also had bargaining chips at his disposal. (How you did on your first “guess” determines whether continuing this post can even possibly hold any value for you.) To the base and debased, appetite rules.
So, I apologize for maligning appetite as a whole. What I should have noted was that every fallen creature who has tasted of God’s agape love has the power to triumph over mere appetite formatting. He alone had the wherewithal to overcome creature appetites to live in loving obedience to his Maker. (Every Christian is in the process of recovering from his past father as he syncs with his new Father.)
Otherwise, over all men, from refinement champions, such as Miss Manners and Emily Post, at one end of the spectrum, to full on libertines the likes of American cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer and, oh, I don’t know, Auschwitz’s Dr. Josef Mengele at the other, appetite will prove to be the driving force.
I remember being uncertain at the conclusion of the second post in this series whether we needed to go further. Looking through my notes, my “unused material,” I now think we had better make at least one more foray into the topic.
When it comes to men’s unholy appetite, you can perhaps name what the Bible calls Mr. Big? How about the Big Three? The Bible either says the love of money is the root of all evil or is a root of all kinds of evil. I tend to think the second makes more sense. At either rate, to make purchase power one’s first love is certainly an imbalance, and leads to trouble. How about the biblical Big Three fountain heads of unrighteous motive? What are these?
I have a literal transliteration of the Scriptures that terms 1 John’s “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life,” as three motive stems, not just two; for the third clause reads, “the lust of the ostentations of life,” showing clearly that Pride is as much an appetite stream as Sensuality and Greed.
So, if we are still on the same page, let us agree that two classifications of creatures exist within fallen creation; redeemed creatures (in the process of being) led by obedience to God, and the remainder led by appetite. Though in appearance, this appetite led category is on a spectrum from social refinement and polite decorum to unrestrained grasping, as the taste of each may be.
Do you believe in reprobation? Can a person reach a state from which repentance is impossible? Are some of the fellow humans you walk the earth with beyond hope of salvation?
I know that in my current jaded, age-induced state, I can only pray for certain people so long. A realization comes to me that certain ones . . . almost can’t repent. They are too invested, entrenched and entangled in their sin. (If you read my previous post series, you may think I have now contradicted myself, but I assure you, all my stated positions are mine and attained honestly.
But let us focus in on the topic of the appetite that rules the unredeemed. Specifically, let us get back to our title theme: Satan hungered for and (consequently) sought to erect one or more memorials in Jerusalem. His is an insatiable appetite, all the more so when, leaving any scene, he remains unfed. Sure he “departs for a more opportune time,” but he is not gone. (Never confuse a strategic ceasefire with permanent victory.)
I see that the time has now reached 11 p.m., and I have merely danced around the issue I had thought to squarely take aim at. Do not know whether you will take this as a bit of honey or rotted cabbage, but I think we are on for at least one more Friday together.
To Be Continued,
Martin D. Carlson
People seem to be confused as to what the adjective amoral means. It is not a synonym for immoral. It pertains (in one usage branch) to matters where morals are not in the picture. Whether you like or dislike peanut butter (or chunky peanut butter) is your amoral preference.
She lost her head and her atheism in one fell swoop. Actually she is now O’Hairless, being also headless. It was only through grave undertaking she renounced her atheism.
. . . and hated righteousness.
Ironically, the ill-gotten gain proved as “disposable” in the end as their no-longer-useful teammate. You will have to look this one up; I am out of time.
Waters, who was ruled by foul appetite was now a cooked goose, serving life.
“We love because He first loved us.” Unless I miss my mark, that really means that you cannot give unselfish love until you have also enjoyed this same agape love, which God bestows to the tasters.
I have not studied these women—as my wife had banned me from the study of all women—and for all I know both may have been exceptionally fine Christian ladies. Otherwise, although they seem to be the very modicum of refinement and restraint, being/appearing socially nice simply feeds an (unredeemed) appetite.